Unfortunately, the divorce rate in this country is quite high. Half of first marriages are expected to eventually dissolve, while almost 70 percent of second and subsequent marriages end up in divorce. Both husbands and wives suffer during divorce, but both genders struggle through the process somewhat differently. They do; however, both experience a number of like emotions.
Sadness at the loss of the relationship is felt by both parties. It is not unusual for a divorcing couple to feel sad, guilt, and a lack of interest in the usual activities. However, men are more likely to resort to alcohol or drugs to deal with the pain.
In most instances, the road to divorce is paved with frequent bitter conflict before the relationship reaches the point of no return. When divorce turns into reality, each party usually feels to need to release a great deal of pent-up anger.
Even if infidelity is not a factor in the divorce, it is easy for each spouse to wonder if his or her partner is seeing someone else. The question alone can produce strong feelings of resentment and jealousy. If one spouse spots the other with someone of the opposite sex, the pain and resentment can cut deep.
The very definition of divorce involves changes and loss. Someone is likely to lose his or her home, full custody of the children, and shared routines that use to make up the fabric of their daily lives. It’s over, and this can lead to a confusing loss of identity. Because most couples share their friends, it can also mean the loss of friends, who may feel to need to side with one party or the other.
How Men Mourn
Men are more likely than women to delay the mourning process that accompanies divorce. One reason is that in most cases, women initiate the process, leaving men in a temporary state of denial. This also means that men will continue mourning after the women are beginning their recovery stage.
Many men are unable to successfully talk about their feelings. Instead, those going through a divorce or newly-divorced men rely more on action than words. They may engage in casual affairs or spend a great deal of time at work – anything rather than think and talk about what is happening. A need for intimacy may also drive men into another marriage before they are ready.
How Women Mourn
More wives initiate a divorce than their husbands. They are more likely to notice and react to problems during the marriage, and they also often work through their feelings by sharing them with friends. This support system, which men frequently lack, makes the process easier for women.
Women are usually left with the responsibility of the family home and the children, and consequently, a greater financial burden. This allows them less freedom to wallow in sexual encounters, alcohol, and drugs. They struggle more financially, and that can be a long struggle. As a result, women’s health can be adversely affected by frequent colds to serious heart conditions.
While no cases are alike, broad generalizations show that men can have a more difficult time with divorce than women. Perhaps the major reason is that men don’t feel as free as women to express their emotions. They are taught to be more action-oriented instead of emotion-oriented. When dealing with the profusion of emotions brought on by a divorce, this approach can add to the already existing problem.
As a rule, women feel freer to express their emotions. They are apt to deal with the anger and disappointments and move on at a more rapid pace than men, who struggle to catch up. Women do have a harder time struggling to care for the household and children, responsibilities which usually fall more on them than on their ex.
Interestingly, women can still be more stigmatized by divorce than men. No one expects to end up divorced. However, when it happens, it is usually assumed that the cause was bad behavior perpetrated by one of the parties. Even in our enlightened 21st-century, women can still be held to a high standard of behavior than their male counterparts. If the woman has custody of the children, it can make finding a future partner more difficult.
Divorce is difficult, period. Both men and women need to cope as best as they can and place their own well-being above the opinion of others. Life moves on. It is an excellent idea that those who have difficulty keeping up seek the benefit of some brief marital counseling.
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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